On a hot, steamy Friday night from Justin F Coressel stadium, the Tinora Rams and the Liberty Center Tigers took the field in front of a jam packed crowd in the season opener for both teams.
After just two plays, and 8 seconds, a Liberty Center fumble landed in the arms of Rams senior All GMC linebacker Casen Wolfrum.
On the Rams first play of the 2021 season, Tinora running back Christian Commisso took the hand off 25 yards for a TD, giving the Rams a early 6-0 lead over the Tigers of Liberty Center.
Liberty Center RB Tejay Moore tied the game at 6-6 on a 8 yard scamper just before the end of the first quarter. The extra point was good by Wes Wymer, giving the Tigers a 7-6 lead.
A Mathew Orr 1 yard TD plunge gave the Tigers a 13-6 lead midway through the second quarter, XP was good, 14-6 Tigers with 6:28 remaining prior to the half.
With just under two minutes remaining in the half, the heat and humidity showing wear on the Rams D, Tinora junior linebacker Brandon Edwards picked off a Zane Zeiter pass, taking it 47 yards to cut the deficit to 14-12. A successful two point conversion from Rams QB Nolan Schafer to TE Casen Wolfrum tied the game at 14-14 as the teams headed into the half.
The teams traded punches in the third quarter, the only score coming on a Rams fourth and three conversion. Grady Gustwiller hauled in a beautiful 28 yard pass from Tinora QB Nolan Schafer, giving the Rams a 21-14 lead after a Dylan Camp XP, with 6:25 remaining in the third quarter.
Liberty Center marched down the field midway in the fourth qurter, a 27 yard TD pass from the Tiger’s QB Zane Zeiter to TE Evan Conrad cut the Rams lead to 21-20 with the extra point pending.
Sophomore Grady Gustwiller busted through the line, blocking the XP attempt, preserving the Rams one point lead, 21-20 with 7:53 remaining in the final stanza.
With the full moon now visible, over Justin F Coressel Stadium, Liberty Center took over with one final drive left. With just under six minutes remaining, Junior QB Zane Zeiter put the Tigers on his back. Eating up clock, and marching down the field to the Tinora 10-yard line with 40 seconds remaining, the Tigers were penalized, moving the ball back to the Rams 15.
Liberty Center then sent out senior kicker Wes Wymer for a 33 yard FG attempt. After another penalty moved the ball back to the Rams 20-yard line, Wymer stepped up for a 38 yard attempt. After Tinora timeout, a calm, cool, collected Wymer drove the ball through the uprights, giving the Tigers a 23-21 lead with 17 seconds remaining.
A LC squib kickoff put the ball at the Tinora 33 with 15 seconds left, a sort pass over the middle ended the game, giving the Liberty Center tigers a thrilling 23-21 victory of the Tinora Rams.
Tinora (0-1) will travel to Wauseon (1-0) next week.
Liberty Center (1-0) will travel to Napoleon (0-1).
First Downs 18 7
Rushing Yards 50-116 25-69
Passing Yards 160 92
Total Yards 276 161
Passing 9-12-1 7-9-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-1
Penalties 6-40 5-52
SCORING 1 2 3 4 FINAL
Liberty Center 7 7 1 9 — 23
Tinora 6 8 7 0 — 21
Liberty Center — Moore 15-53; Orr 18-45; Zeiter 14-7; Long 3-11.
Tinora — Delarber 9-16; Ch. Commisso 4-31; Schafer 4-18; Anders 4-8; Edwards 1-5; Eckert 1-(-8)
Liberty Center — Zeiter 9-12-1-160. Tinora — Schafer 7-9-0-92.
Liberty Center — Conrad 4-93; Chapa 2-38; Foster 1-16; Orr 1-8; Moore 1-5.
Tinora — Co. Commisso 5-56; Gustwiller 1-28; Delarber 1-8.
Thanks to all the viewers and listeners, and thanks to Logan Bailey and Tony Fairchild for assisting.
Photo courtesy Emily Brown
Black Swamp football’s Lynn Groll with the video of the winning 38 yard FG by Liberty Center’s Wes Wymer with 22 seconds remaining.